‘Potentially live’ World War I explosive discovered in Bay Area family’s bedroom


A grenade believed to date back to World War I was found – and shortly after exploding – in a Bay Area home Monday afternoon.

According to a press release from there Los Altos Police Department, a Los Altos owner found what was believed to be a grenade inside an elderly family’s room.

Shortly after Los Altos police arrived at the 1700 block of Christina Drive, a largely residential area that borders South Los Altos, they sought help from the Sheriff’s County Sheriff’s Bomb Squadron, the report said. (The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.)

The bomb squad determined the weapon as a “former grenade” of World War I that was believed to “potentially live.” As a result, four neighboring homes were evacuated, police said.

And “out of an abundance of caution,” police said, the bomb squad opted to detonate the grenade in the backyard of the house – and emergency crews on the ready in case a fire started.


PG&E was also at the stage of “conducting an underground service assessment.”

Fortunately, no damage or injuries were reported.

Karis Erwin, a spokeswoman for the World War I National Museum and Memorial, told SFGATE that World War I grenades come in a variety of shapes and “are made from varied materials,” so one of them was found inside the home would be difficult to identify without further information. The most common grenades that the Americans used in the war were manufactured in France, Germany and the United States, according to the museum.

Like mechanisms, an arsenal in former milimilitary explosivees havand have been discovered throughout the Bay Area over the past two decades. In 2003, three World War II grenades were found inside a room located in the inner Sunset. And in 2016, detonators exploded Grenade World War II at the Outer Sunset.

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